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Will Swedish Vandals Burn Down The Giant Gävle Goat Again This Year?
December 2, 2013
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The Swedish town of Gävle is vowing that yuletide vandals won't get their goat. Not this year.

That's the Gävle Goat (or Gävlebocken), for those who haven't been following along with our annual check-ins — a 13-metre-tall hay structure erected in the town's main Slottstorget square. The symbolic Christmas goat, which goes up every season, goes down in flames nearly as often — courtesy of arsonists.

The Gävle Goat tradition has been in place since 1966, but it's been torched more times than it's survived the Advent period, according to Swedish news site The Local.

So what's different about this year? Well, for starters, there's Lindoford Karlsson. The 65-year-old pensioner is leading a team of goat-defending loyalists who have been tasked with ensuring Gävle residents don't have to watch the towering effigy turn into a blackened mess of burnt straw.

"We are not alone. I think the Gävle residents will stand up for this," Karlsson told The Local.

The town's tourism board also says the construction of the goat has changed, with more fire-resistant materials used.

As for whether Gävlebocken will evade destruction through the holidays, it's hard to say. A standoff appears to be in the works, with a Facebook page now dedicated to ensuring that the goat burns, and a group of volunteers (the Goat Committee) committed to safeguarding it.

Last year's Gävle Goat survived until Dec. 12 before someone set it alight.

You can follow the latest on the Gävle Goat by checking out the Gävlebocken's twitter feed, as well as its Instagram account and blog — or keep watch yourself via this live webcam at Slottstorget square. 


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